Ardeeran and Scoil Realt na Mara claim 5-a-side titles

The Showgrounds played host to the Sligo County Final of the SPAR FAI Primary School 5s Programme on Wednesday 18th April. The SPAR FAI Primary Schools 5s Programme has seen participation figures grow year on year to become the largest primary schools’ competition in the country. 136 students from 17 schools participated in the Sligo County Final with just 4 schools progressing to the provincial finals.

The ‘A’ Cup, open to boys and/or mixed teams from small schools, had 5 passionate schools with the final between the talented Mullaghroe NS team and Ardkeeran NS team. Ardkeeran NS triumphed in what was a thrilling contest.

The ‘B’ Cup, for medium sized schools, again proved to be a compelling division with 4 teams involved. The final was eventually decided in extra time where Scoil Ursula proved a little too strong over a talented Scoil Naomh Eanna NS side.

The winners will now progress to the Connacht Finals on 3rd May in Castlebar.

Participation in the girl’s division of the SPAR FAI Primary Schools 5s Programme reached an all-time high this year with 12,832 4th, 5th and 6th class girls registered.

Réalt Na Mara NS, Rosses Point (winners of girls A final) with at right Dearbhla Gill (Principal, Réalt Na Mara NS) and at right Darragh Healy (FAI representative).

The Girls ‘A’ and ‘B’ Cup finals were also held on Wednesday 18th April in The Showgrounds where there was a fantastic atmosphere throughout the competition.

In the Girls ‘A’ Cup, for small schools, Scoil Realt Na Mara defeated Dromore West Central NS in a really exciting and hard-fought match.

In the Girls ‘B’ Cup Final, for medium sized schools, Rathcormac NS sealed qualification to the next stage after they overcame a tough challenge from St John’s NS Ballisodare.

The SPAR FAI Primary School 5s Programme competition has been in existence since the mid 1990’s and has 31,728 participants from 1,528 schools involved this year. The competition is run across six divisions, ensuring that schools of all sizes are catered for. Boys and girls are encouraged to play together but there is a separate competition for boys and girls dependent on school enrolment numbers.

Fergus McDaid, Secretary of FAI Schools stated, “This is our fourth year with title sponsors SPAR and the competition has grown yet again and now firmly holds the title of the largest primary schools’ competition in the country. SPAR’s ongoing support, both nationally and at a local level, has ensured the ongoing success of the programme and given 31,728 children an opportunity to get involved in a professionally-run, fun and inclusive programme. The programme encourages children to become involved in soccer at an early age and emphasizes the fun aspect of the sport. FAI Schools look forward to welcoming schools to the National Finals on Wednesday, May 30th in Aviva Stadium.  We would also like to extend our thanks to all schools who have participated in 2018.

Colin Donnelly, SPAR Sales Director said, “As a community based retailer, SPAR encourages a healthy and active lifestyle and is proud to be a supporter of primary schools’ soccer in association with the FAI. SPAR local retailers around the county have been getting behind the SPAR FAI Primary School 5s Programme, which encourages children to get involved in soccer in a fun, safe and inclusive environment.”

Follow the action on social media via #SPAR5s or at and


SPAR FAI Primary School 5s Programme



South Leinster: April 24th      Bunclody AFC, Wexford (Wexford, Wicklow, Carlow)

Mid Leinster:     April 25th        Portlaoise Leisure Centre, Laois (Offaly, Laois, Kildare, Kilkenny)

North Leinster: April 26th        MDL Grounds, Trim Road, Navan, Meath (Louth, Meath, Westmeath, Longford)


Ulster Final:        May 2nd          John Sherlock Park, Cootehill Harps FC, Co. Cavan

Connacht Final: May 3rd           Solar21 Park, Castlebar, Co. Mayo

Munster Final:   May 9th         Mounthawk Park, Tralee, Co.Kerry

Leinster Final:   May 10th       MDL Grounds, Trim Road, Navan, Co. Meath


National Final: May 30th         Aviva Stadium, Dublin